The Lens of the Other: Instagram as a Tool to Counter the Unsafe Images of Countries and the Case of Lebanon

Description
Title: The Lens of the Other: Instagram as a Tool to Counter the Unsafe Images of Countries and the Case of Lebanon
Authors: Nehme, Raphaela
Date: 2020-09-18
Abstract: The emergence of new media tools and social media platforms over the last ten years has created new means of intercultural engagement. On Instagram, there is a growing trend of travel pages and travel bloggers whose aim is to introduce and share with other users the highlights of the destinations they travel to. This also applies to locals in these destinations who wish to portray their country positively and promote it as a tourist destination, particularly in certain countries of the Middle East where there is the added challenge of an ‘unsafe’ image to combat. This research focuses on Lebanon to find out to what extent Instagram can be considered a tool to combat the ‘unsafe’ image of the country, and if users who come across depictions of Lebanon on Instagram perceive the country as a potential tourist destination. Using a mixed methods approach, this thesis combines surveys and semi-structured interviews with Canadian participants to reach its findings. Its theoretical framework makes use of Edward Said’s conception of the ‘other’ (1978), Stuart Hall’s system of representations (1980), Jan Neverdeen Pieterse’s hybridization paradigm (1996), and Eli Pariser’s (2011) echo chamber to analyze its findings. Broadly, findings show that while Instagram can effectively be considered a tool to counter the ‘unsafe’ image of Lebanon, and while the country may be branded as a potential tourist destination to users who come across such depictions of it, algorithm restrictions limit the potential for such depictions to fulfill their potential since they don’t always reach users who perceive Lebanon to be an ‘unsafe’ place.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/41040
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-25264
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Files